Life Beneath the Coconut Tree

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9×12 in. mixed media.

Doing abstracts can surprise you from time to time, especially when there isn’t any definitive idea about the subject matter. This is just such a piece for me. Once I added the browns to the work i couldn’t help but see island type scenes in my head…as most of you that read anything from me know…i like to spend time with a finished piece  and figure out its title… in this case i had several going on in my head well before i finished…not sure i liked the fact it influenced some of my artistic choices before i finished…but hey sometimes it is good to go with what you feel strongly about…and see where it takes you.

If I had a shrink I would imagine he might suggest a vacation to some Caribbean island…actually that isn’t a bad idea !!!

Where Is The Hamm’s Bear

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15 x 20 in. mixed media on illustration board.

People that know me may not realize I was born in St. Paul Minnesota, land of more lakes than you can count…or the land of sky blue waters…wait that is the Hamm’s famous saying for their beer. This might explain why I drift back to these type of scenes when doing my bubble trees. At least that is what my shrink might say, after digging into my colorful mind….that is if I had a shrink. Haven’t gotten to that point yet, and I know this why? Because my work hasn’t gone Dali or Gogh yet, well maybe skirting it a little occasionally. At any rate this piece is the largest bubble tree i have done to date, other than taking longer than normal, process was the same…I did add some non-organic structures to this piece tho. All my others in this series were free of this  and rock pads just seemed right.

Oh, a little factoid when using cold pressed board…if you use anything very chemical based or solvents, gesso it first…otherwise paper might/will de-laminate…hot press has been fine so far with my mediums…this was the first time I had used cold press…LIFE IS ABOUT LEARNING ;-)

Earth, Wind and Fire…on Moonrise

Earth, Wind, and Fire...

9×12 in. mixed media on watercolor paper.

I have never seen one in person and don’t real know if i care too, but from pictures I have seen forest fires create eerie landscapes to be sure. This was a piece inspired by my sister, who is part of the army of people working for the government that fight these bad boys. I can only imagine the fury and destruction they cause…but in a sense it is also about rebirth and transformation, things that forest areas have been doing for thousands of years…and will continue to do long after we are gone. She is starting to gather a small collection of these, I believe she has three now, from a series of three!!! My favorite one was HAUNTING AFTERMATH.

Dermatological Wonder At 6 Fathoms

9×12 in. mixed media.  Let me start by saying thank you to everyone, I have hit a milestone I never imagined I would get to…1000 followers!!!!!! … I reached that early today, it is very humbling and at the same time extremely uplifting . THANK YOU ALL

The long winded titled piece was done like some of my bubble tree series, without the trees. I had a preconceived idea about goosebumps…thus the title. It has a different feel than the others like it…but I can sense being in the water for sure. Not many have seen this piece so I will let you guys and gals tell me what you think.dermatologicalwonderat6fathomsW

Sunset On Twin Peaks

9×12 in. mixed media.  Sometimes I try to keep it simple, especially when I am recharging the creative juices.  Tape, brush, markers, and white pen an exercise in using the tools at hand without getting too involved. A nice piece that will show well when matted and framed very simple…not sure it will match much, but it will be hard not to notice.

Haunting Aftermath

9×12 in. mixed media. From time to time I try to capture the aftermath or the beginning of a forest fire. I think it is because my sister works for the forest service in the western United States. Her dept. works on supplying the monies and resources so these brave people can work on prevention and fighting the fires when needed. Dauntless task, especially after the fire season we are having this year. My artistic visions fall more into the areas after the fires, and I try to create a feel of what was. In this piece the sun is shining brightly through a forest that is just a memory, reflecting off of ghostly trees rooted in bare exposed soil. I know nature has a way to start anew what these fires destroy, however in our lifetime these forest will never grow to be as majestic as they once were.  Other mediums might lend themselves to creating this piece better, but I was trying to use the ones I know best…pen, marker, tissue paper, pencil, and acrylic.

It Is Too Cold To Skinney Dip

11×14 in mixed media. The 3rd and final wave is up and running at the Putnam County Library and this is one of the pieces. Not  sure how normal shows go but I was able to provide the public with 27 hand picked works over a 2 month period, 9 at a time. Feedback continues to be very favorable from visitors, which is greatly appreciated.  Thanks again to Stacie Johnson.

On to this current piece…nature and the elements, kind of played with a reflective type theme…water, deep and shallow and moonlight…are those snowflakes?…maybe…is that mountains?…possible .  The colors and texture have a brisk cool feel to them, and I really enjoyed changing the shades and hues as the trees came thru the piece. I might over-play the white outlining, but at this point I can’t see the work without it. I have used this style and technique on several pieces now, each one creates a different but pleasant mood for me while glazing at them…I hope it catches you in a similar fashion.

Discarded Sunset On Kansas

Mixed media 18×24 in. on canvas. Back in the day part of studying photography was you did your own developing and printing, very challenging and costly till you got what you wanted. In this piece I incorporated some  discarded B&W nature  shots into my painting, along with some discarded fabric from the textile lab. My kids call it the dirty underwear picture, but I never was that cutting edge back then.  A closer look and we  can see a typical Kansas Winter setting near some fence rows.  I also used a brite red cinnamon wrapper to add texture and color. This is a piece that has had no issue (my wife likes it)  finding a home in a main traffic area in my house over the years. Talk about slow, I started this in 1974 and completed it in 1988…a story for another time.

The Other Side

Mixed media 10×14 in. Variation of several ( Between, How Many Trees Make A Forest, The Stage Is Set.) of my other bubbleheaded tree works.  At some point I may revisit these and either on a much smaller or much larger scale try to expand upon this. I don’t believe those are the great pyramids so I have added mountains to the mix. :-)

Springtime In Nemeha County

Mixed media 24×30 in. canvas. I get asked from time to time what was some of your older works like…here for your viewing pleasure is an example of circa 1988. This was done to help complete my BA degree from Ottawa University (no not Canada , sorry). Being a Kansas boy you see these signs in the fields along side of the road everywhere. DeKalb seed has a large presence in Nemaha Co. The sign was done on foam board with colored pencil then fragmented to my liking, against  exposed cardboard (love the ribs and texture).  The painting on canvas was  my acrylic attempt at Kansas landscape. You might notice that it has no signature, well I never quite liked my  signature enough in those days, figured I would come up with a cooler looking one later (I do like the piece tho)…24+yrs later I have never signed it…maybe this year?

The Stage Is Set

Mixed media 9×12 in.  Something is ready to happen, but what? Where is this place or where in time is it? This is nature in a pure untainted state ready for the next step/phase/act/scene…but what? Almost a Seuss feel to it without a hint of …whatever is next !!!

Sunset Thru The Woods

Mixed media 12×18 in. I wanted to show the trees and how light seems to go thru or around them at sunset. This is based on what I see out my back door and in the fall it is so intense it is hard to see anything in that direction. I maintained my triangles concept thru out the piece…can’t begin to remember how many times I applied color and acrylics to this…I like the top to bottom effect of light and dark colors. Yes this is part of the Fall series, for what it’s worth there was 20 pieces in that series…not sure I will be showing all of them.

Foldable Art: country side

Mixed media 6×7 ft. Who says you have to hang art on the wall… We had this around for longer than I care to remember, waiting for color.  Used spray paint, charcoal, pastel sticks, paint sticks, markers, and latex paint.  In my mind I started with woods and a lake then a waterfall, kind of has a oriental feel to it. Then  I used countryside to connect the two halves. … there is two sides to this divider I’ll share the other side at another time.

Kansas Horizons

Mixed media 9×12 in. Those that know me know my roots are in Kansas, I don’t do too many pieces with that scenery but I truly have it locked in my heart.  You can see so far and the skies and the colors of the land during the seasons…and trust me on this, it isn’t as flat as you would think, rolling hills aren’t unusual…think the Flint Hills..WOW !  I live in Tennessee now and love the trees, but you can’t get the same vistas as easily…two totally beautiful states in their own rights…but there is something that grabs at me when I am in Kansas…if you are reading this look at the lines in this piece, sunsets, Kansas towns, night skies, wheat fields, clouds, tall weeds, and lakes.

Autumn Shallows

Mixed media 12×18. The first time I did one of these reflective-fall-water-leave pieces I couldn’t get a photo without a great deal of glare on them. So I figured I would do the next piece similar but with the glare/white added as part of it.  I like the effect and the blues and leaves are more distinct vs. the first piece (What Waterbugs)…I still need to learn to take better photos of my work.  I had someone tell me they thought the white was abstract geese going south for the winter…verrryyy interrrestinnnggg!  (think laugh-in, the TV show)

Muddy Waters

Mixed media 12×18 Fall series.  I like the way the colors change on the trees and the background but without the puddles/reflective blue waters it was way too flat for my tastes. The outlining of the trees was a late addition that helped me give it a little more of a surreal look to work with my leaves. I liked the effect so much for some continuity I used on the brite blue waters.

Sunset In The Channel

Mixed media 12×18 Fall series. This one has a cold and deeper water feel to it without the yellow and I almost didn’t try it.  I wanted to make the reflective sunshine  a little less obvious and  make the peaking waves stand out more.  Felt this would lead the viewer to look deeper between the waves to find other details in this piece.  Not as many leaves to be seen might be why I feel it has a deeper water feel ( I am sure all the blues didn’t hurt too) .  You might notice  I made the signature more a part of the piece than others, haven’t made my mind up on that yet.

Some Will Fall Today

Mixed media 8×12 .  Simple piece using triangles and squares to show the ever changing process during the Fall. This was a lite sketch in my sketchbook that I took to a finished state. It started my bug to focus on the Fall. I also noted that this process wasn’t giving me as much depth as I would like, but loved the colors.

Autumn Sunset Shades

A 12×18 mixed media.  Background color comes mainly from this goldenrod paper, which makes this Fall series piece pop. I did the leaves first then drew the trees in, it made it harder but the blue was patiently placed in next to last. I like the effect/over laying in the background first. The line work after (white) this gives the bright almost blinding light I get to see  with each sunset out my back door. To me there is a definitive difference in top and bottom by use of colors. The spider web of lines is key to pulling this together and giving a fore-ground vs. back-ground illusion in my mind.

The Shallow End

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A 12×18 mixed media. I actually wanted to do a black and white study on this reflection/leave and water series first, but I  am glad I waited until the end of the series. Reminds me of something my teacher Lynn Havel would have had us do at BUCO JUCO.     

If anyone knows what BUCO JUCO is or better yet… 

Mr. Lynn Havel…. I would love to hear from you grizzles…  :-)